Feb. 12, 2015
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team begins its 2015 spring schedule by traveling to Palm Coast, Florida to compete in the seventh annual Big Ten Match Play Championships, held at the Hammock Beach Resort. The two-day event begins on Sunday, Feb. 15, in which the first two rounds of the tournament will be played. The semifinals and finals will take place on Monday. Iowa is the third seed in the event, and will face 14th-seeded Nebraska in the opening round. Live stats will be available at www.AJGA.org/big10mpc.
BROADCAST ON BTN
The event will air on the Big Ten Network on March 15 at 12:30 p.m. (CT).
All 14 members of the Big Ten Conference make up the field, of which three are currently ranked in the top 50 in the Golfstat.com rankings. Illinois leads the pack, ranked as the top team in the country at No. 1, followed by Ohio State (41), and Iowa (42). Illinois and Ohio State both received first-round byes as the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.
Hammock Beach Resort features two signature design courses by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. All championship bracket matches will be played on Tom Watson’s Signature design Conservatory Course, which is currently ranked the longest and toughest course in the state of Florida. The Conservatory plays as a 7,776 yard, par 72, and is highlighted by waterfalls and veneered field stone work. Both the consolation and round-robin brackets will be played on Jack Nicklaus’ Ocean Course, a 7,113 yard, par 72 played along the Atlantic Ocean. This top 100 golf course has received numerous accolades, and was named to Golfweek’s 2013 Best Courses You Can Play in Florida, ranking 10th.
The Big Ten Match Play Championships allow teams to play five golfers per match, with the option of substituting a sixth golfer in between matches. Seniors Brian Bullington and Ian Vandersee, who have competed in the event a combined five times, join junior Voramate Aussarassakorn, sophomores Carson Schaake and Raymond Knoll, and freshman Sam Meuret, to make up Iowa’s lineup. Aussarassakorn, Schaake, and Meuret, who is making his collegiate debut this weekend, have never competed at the Big Ten Match Play Championships.
LAST YEAR AT THE BIG TEN MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIPS
In 2014, the Hawkeyes earned a fourth place finish at the Big Ten Match Play Championships. Iowa fell to Northwestern in the third place match by a score of 3-2. Brian Bullington and Raymond Knoll both came away with 2-1 records.
The Hawkeyes finished in the top-half of the standings in three of their five events in the fall, closing out their schedule with a tie for sixth place at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate for the second-straight year. Sophomore Carson Schaake led Iowa in four-of-five events in the fall, with his best outing coming at the Windon Memorial Classic where he finished tied for fourth place, shooting a one-under-par 209. Of the seven Hawkeyes that competed in the fall, five carded at least two rounds at or below par for a combined 22 in all. Schaake led the way with 10.
HAWKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Iowa men’s golf team is ranked 42nd out of 262 teams in the most recent Golfstat rankings, and are the third-highest ranked Big Ten team.
6-STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Iowa has advanced to NCAA competition in each of the last six seasons, joining Illinois and Northwestern as the only Big Ten teams selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last six seasons. Iowa has advanced to the NCAA Championship finals three times in the last six years.
NEW FACE AT THE HELM
Tyler Stith is in his first year as the head coach at the University of Iowa in 2014-15. Stith was named the UI head coach on Aug. 22, 2014. Stith, a former assistant coach and student-athlete at Iowa, served as assistant coach at Minnesota the last three years.
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